Dec 31, 2015

Stitching review

Wishing everyone a good year in 2016.
Recap of the year's stitching which isn't much.  Going back through the 2015 posts, there were many photos of Sally Fiske progress, the longest I've ever worked on a project.  There were also cats, hostas, pink petunias, Carole updates, wild turkeys, the never ending kitchen remodel, letting go of my car, and turtle pee.  I wonder how our rescued turtle is doing. So here it is, a measly amount of finishes.  More smalls than usual and three were my freebies.  Hope to do better next year. 
I also wanted to show you a photo of my heart freebie done by Sue in the UK.  I love her finish.
Happy New Year!

And for the inquiries from readers (no-reply) that wanted information on the Merry Christmas banner in the header photo, it is Leisure Arts Christmas Gentlemen.  Many of you were so kind to share this information.  I had this leaflet until this past spring when I reduced stash and gave it away, not realizing the banner I want to stitch again was included!
Enjoy your weekend.
Thanks for your support, concern, friendship, and kind words.  You have no idea how important it is to this crabass.

Dec 30, 2015

Christmas is over

and big girl (expanded cut of linen) Sally will be too.  Soon.  May not make it by year's end but shortly thereafter.  The bottom area that I dreaded continuing and where the majority of errors occurred is completed. 
Whew.  But because this big girl (quite adequately proportioned for the amount of stitches) was rolled for easier handling, I forgot about the specialty stitches and the vase above.  It shouldn't be too bad because "specialty" means "do as you wish".  If I have trouble with the stem stitch it becomes satin, if a Queen riles me it becomes my made up diamond stitch or wonky eyelet.  Border?  BORDER?  Good grief I forgot all about that too.  My enlarged coloring copies were short of that edge.  Although I hate stitching borders, this shouldn't become a problem either because the testy part is over.  The house needs filled, also an easy task. 
I just didn't realize there was so much more to her.  After unrolling and pressing her, I realized this big girl (expanse of abundantly stitched mass of linen) is my largest piece and fabulous colors.  Well worth the frustration I had with this project.  She measures appox. 23 x 24, larger than my Lucy Redd.  Politically correct or not, she is one big ass gal.
So am I.  Damn those sweets.  Once I start I can't stop.  I decided to munch on this broccoli salad between cookies, just so my body knows there are still green foods. I use Hellman's light mayo and add sugar (or substitute) to my taste, cut the broccoli into smaller florets, add golden raisins, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.  I forgot to shake the water out of the broccoli after washing and this batch is a little runny.   This isn't Pioneer Woman's blog so no fancy dishes, my salad goes in a plastic container.  I don't know why I don't care for her but I don't.  And Oprah!  I taped her show back in the day and adored her but for me, something about her changed.  The new commercial for WW about bringing her to "this most powerful moment" has people in tears.  I don't get the powerful moment since she has recognized and talked about her weight for years, trying many different plans.  This time, she bought 10% of the company, became a board member, and their stock rose 53% making her more millions.  Weight Watchers DOES work if you stick to the plan that seems to change every year.  I'm sure she will have success.
Anyway, have a safe and happy new year!
Hope 2016 is a good year for all.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 27, 2015

My needlework grade ...

A big fat F!!!

Hope everyone had the Christmas they hoped for.  Ours was very nice and the first Eve and Christmas we've had in a few years.  I don't even want to think about last year at this time.  We need to enjoy and cherish each celebration because life is always messing with us.
Sally.  Oh Sally.  I so wanted to finish her before year's end and I think I will.  But I picked up right where I left off.  Errors on top of errors.  I enlarged the motif area and colored in the symbols.  It helped.  So why am I continuing to make errors?  Many of you start several projects and then set them aside, but do the threads stay with them?  I have so many older skeins, new skeins, and some are noticeably off.  So if you need that color for a new start, do you get a fresh skein or take it from the stalled project?  Just curious.  I'm assuming the thread stays because by the time you return to it, a new skein may be needed and slightly off from what you were using.  I have always finished a piece before another start, but needed to set Sally aside.  She taught me a lesson - make notes and keep them with the chart when you change colors and placements!  I forgot everything.  I used the wrong gold when I picked her up the other day and had to remove it all and also forgot about the error in the vase which made it two stitches shy of the chart.  
Now the stems are making me nuts.  Look at the errors, and these are after removing the stems once already.  Top right is one extra stitch out, middle is missing one stitch which made the circled area off one row, far left is an extra linen thread so the row is over 3.  Ordinarily I leave errors but this is exactly the same on each side of the house and the stems are symmetrical from center.  I have been removing more stitches than adding.  
Rain rain rain rain and then it rained.  The only snowflakes I've seen are on Carole's sweater that needed pearls reattached.  I can't believe she was going to get rid of it because a few pearls were off.  I always remove embellishments before recycling an item so I had lots of extras to add.  I may be seeing the real ones by week's end.  Not happy about that.
Enjoy the last week of 2015.
Stay safe.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 24, 2015


Apple pie with vanilla ice cream dessert,  Au Bon Pain cranberry almond macaroons made, cookies ready for tomorrow, last of shopping done, hissy fits completed.
The last one happened when I was jumping out of the car in front of a store with cars behind waiting, as bags and merchandise fell out, caught on my shoes.  The fit intensified when my throwing arm missed the door opening and I continued picking up and throwing.  Always a bright side - the old fart behind us got a chuckle.  Once again, I was jumping out of the car, purse strap wrapped around my shoulder, filled bags (for exchanges/returns) slipped onto my arms, traffic waiting behind.  I can't get out.  I pulled at the purse strap, yanked the bags, maybe it's my jacket pocket stuck on something.  Fit is getting nasty and the cuss words are flowing.  I CAN'T GET OUT!!!  I'm caught on something but with so much on my lap, I can't tell what.  Horns are now blowing.  My husband gently hits a red button to release my seat belt and thankfully, my body didn't jerk forward hard enough to tumble out.  I still had to fight my way out of the belt since the bag handles were over my arms.  But I made it.  This time, there was no chuckle from the car behind.  He was young.  He'll get over it.

Dec 23, 2015

Merry Christmas to all

Wishing you a peaceful holiday filled with love, memories, and good will.

Dec 22, 2015

Just a few things, published before I was done typing

Hi hi hi.  How's it going?  Personally, I can't wait until the Pajamagram commercials stop.  But at least they don't bring tears.  Christmas is always an emotional time from one end of the spectrum to the other.  Songs, touching ads, holiday stories, St. Jude videos, ASPCA ads, everything smears my mascara these days. 
I seriously doubt this, but has anyone anywhere at anytime stitched my Christmas freebie?  Not the pear, this one.  I was considering starting this but with a simple border.  Then again, maybe not.
Once again, Bud got his clock cleaned.  Yellow Cat again.  I have caught him eating in the garage while Bud sat and watched him, and did not chase after him when I scared it away.  I thought all was good.  There is blood, urine, fur clumps, and three cautious cats in the garage.  I couldn't trust another encounter since Bud just recovered from an infection of a prior bite, so the brats are in for a while.  Missy is wild as usual and Nit will go back out in a flash.   My head is pounding and I really don't want to start allergy meds.  I have no idea what to do about that stray.  We also have another solid black chasing after Missy (or Midge depending on my mood) so it must be hot to trot time.  I was ill informed and thought spaying/neutering would change that.  They can't create offspring but the urge to is still with them. Something tells me my sister's strays will be producing.
I moved my floss box when trying to organize that little parlor, and took a good look at it.  I did a pretty good job of aging it.
I wish we would have made it a little smaller, but I have so many skeins of the same colors that they take up most of the box.  I used cranberry under black since I wanted that color and dark olive in the new upholstery but have since changed that to pumpkin and olive.  Weird huh?  My husband said not to worry, I will change it several times before I actually decide on a fabric.
Came across my R&R Reproduction stash.  Maybe one of the these designs will be the next project since they are some of my favorites and many are easy and smaller.
We ran into Mark's friend and found out that he was a victim of attempted armed robbery in Youngstown when leaving a popular restaurant.  Amazingly, he and his wife are alive because of a jammed gun.  Gun control?  Really?  When the people using them for no good and obtaining them illegally are not locked up?  Here's the details from the paper.
"He is accused of trying to rob a couple in the parking lot of a West Rayen Avenue restaurant Friday evening. Reports at first said one of the victims thought that Favors was using a pellet gun during the robbery, and he and his wife refused to give the man anything. However, City Prosecutor Dana Lantz told the judge that the gun was real. She said after the couple refused his demands, Favors pointed the gun at them and pulled the trigger but nothing happened. He then racked the chamber of the gun to try to get a round so he could fire. The couple were not injured, and Favors ran away. He was identified by restaurant employees, and Lantz said there also is video available of the robbery attempt. Lantz said Favors’ record dates back to 1973 and shows arrests for such offenses as breaking and entering, felonious assault, assault, burglary, intimidation and retaliation. She rattled off 22 convictions just in Ohio and added that he has warrants from Pennsylvania and Texas as well."
But of course he was on the streets and we're releasing even more.  And you don't see an attempted murder charge.  Why not?  He pulled the freaking trigger to shoot them but since it jammed, well, that doesn't count.  Mandatory sentence for using a gun?  Nope.
Pierogis are made, cole slaw chopped, Cwikla tomorrow, smelts ready for frying.  Fresh warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream instead of cookies since we will have so many the next day.  I am trying Au Bon Pain's macaroon copycat recipe.  I ate so many while wandering the Clinic and I know everyone will like them.
Went to Catan's and got the only 2 sets of square and 2 sets of rounds (5" & 6") that came in, haven't opened them yet.  Hopefully they will be OK inside and I can do a few more boxes.  Thinking of offering one design a month instead of a batch of choices which makes me confused.  Confused.  Believe me.  I am surprised I didn't receive a complaint that someone's order was wrong.  I'd like to try covering with fabric too.
Have a great week everyone.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 20, 2015

The pony draw

Holy schmoly.  I guess you guys liked the box!  Thank you everyone for participating.  Makes me feel good that so many of you would like a little piece of my work.  I started entering the names early because of the number of comments, plus the email entries.  I want to let everyone know (some of you I replied to, others are no-reply) that whenever I offer an item, it is open to everyone everywhere.  All the international entries were included, and please don't feel you shouldn't enter because of where you live.  Yes, it's costly to ship but if I don't specify that the offer is for US only, please enter if you would like. 

Now before I tell you who Random chose, I have to tell you this.  My sister has been having things moved in her house.  Little things.  She wakes up to items across the room from where they were, last night a large cardboard box of Christmas lights fell off a table for no reason.  Her cats are all gone except for the outside hoard of strays, no one else is there.  My friend who feels she is psychic, said that the departed souls start to warn you when your time to reunite with them is near.  Holy crap.  How scary is that?  Of course I didn't tell Carole that and maybe it's a chimney squirrel reeking havoc at night.  But I doubt it would be able to remove a little pillow from a hook and place it elsewhere.  I'll keep you posted.
And thanks for the skinny jeans approval.  I must admit that the curvy fit is better, but that is a misnomer for me.  I don't have curves.  I have bulges.
And the winner of the pony box is....Dogwood Farm.  I will email her shortly.  I guess the ponies are staying in Pennsylvania.  I really thought they would be taking a long trip, maybe overseas, but as usual I am wrong.  Just like with the boxes.  I always make too many of my favorite, and it is never the one you like.
Have a good week everyone and thank you again so much. 

Dec 19, 2015

The skinny

Hello people.  One week from today Christmas will be over.  It's like planning for a wedding.  The unending lists, the baking, the gift buying, the plans, the decorations, the guest list, for what seems like an eternity and then POOF..... it's over in a day.  But the spirit and good feelings of the season start before the day and continue after.
Today, Saturday, while munching on garlic bologna and chocolate, my husband is tearing apart another room and washing walls and floors.  This is why his pant number stays the same and mine continues to increase.  I previously mentioned the so-called skinny jeans. 
After trying many brands (not that many come in a 34" inseam) I finally found them.  Surprisingly, they are extremely comfortable.  Some were half way up my rear and when I sat, the tight stretch would pull them down like worn out pantyhose.  Others were not long enough.  Of all places, I found them at Walmart.  Kohl's carries Lee brand in Long but these fit a little better and are much longer. Lots of stretch, not like other denim, the cut is bigger in hips and thighs.  Now all I have to do is find a tent tunic to cover those curvy fit areas.  My legs are like tree trunks, with large knots at the knee and ankle area.  I bought knee high boots to wear with them.  Between the tunic and the boots, several inches of my new skinny jeans will show.  I'm just tired of the looser and larger leg jeans that actually make me look even larger.  I've never purchased boots and special tops just to be able to wear something you barely see.  My first pair of skinny jeans at age 64.  Will I wear them or change right before exiting the door?
I haven't finished my patriotic Santa, don't know if I will.  Still haven't crawled out of my slump, but would like to start this little simple sampler.  Sally Fiske is still waiting to be completed and I'm so close!  Maybe I will try to do one half hour a day.
Carole is still not up to par but much better.  I was happy to find this gigantic pill box at the Dollar Store for my chewable gummy vitamins and CoQ10.  They fit, but they dry out in a few days and are like chewing on a tire.  I so envy people that can swallow pills.
We made Harvest Soup and Split Pea with smoked ham hocks, both were very good.  But here I sit with garlic bologna and chocolate.  Yes I'm weird.  Maybe that's why I lost followers.
So I will be back Sunday with the pony box winner.  I guess I should start entering the names today and just keep the page open to add more as needed.  If you can't leave a comment, please email me (link at top right) to be added.  Until then, enjoy your weekend and stay safe.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 17, 2015

Who wants a pony for Christmas?

My Christmas gift to you, my friends, my stitching buds, my readers.
(Blurred intentionally) 

This will never be offered again.  I custom matched (the best I could) a bluish shade to paint the 5" box.   I wax the entire piece and the flash was reflecting.

 Please leave your initials or name in the comments on this post and I will draw a name Sunday evening at 8pm EST.  If I cannot reply to email you, and the winner doesn't contact me by Tuesday morning, I will draw another name.
Merry Christmas to you all!!
note - if anyone knows the designer of the Merry Christmas banner in my header photo, please let me know.

Dec 15, 2015

Boxes are listed

Sorry - trouble with Paint program.  They are on the Sampler Box page HERE.

The ponies

Greetings.  Hope all is well and you're starting off a good day. 
I just wanted to show you that I still haven't finished my ponies.  I had planned to do a bag which is what I told the owner, promising to not make it into a wallet as her original.  I found it in the sewing heap yesterday when searching for label models and found that it would fit the top of an 8" box nicely, if padded.  Enough fabric to cover the lid sides too.  It's a possibility. 
But then I thought it might make a nice label and it does, matching the gray blue paint I have.  But no box to put it on!!!  Mark went to the shop for me this morning to return what I purchased yesterday.  A sealed set of 3 square that when opened were a total disgrace.
Back to work.

Dec 14, 2015

A few boxes Tuesday at 8pm

PRINTING!!  And I found a few unused older labels in an envelope.  Another trip to the store, no boxes.  I have ordered before online but I don't like to do that with paper mache.  So many boxes have areas where there is no glue and the paper is loose which means I have to cut it out, get more kraft paper, and re-line them.  Not easy to do in a small box.  The dozens of ovals that I ordered were perfect the first time, now they are flimsy and I am putting the extra time and card stock expense to line them for strength.  Some boxes are black inside, some are the newer ones and have the dark kraft lining I added.  Except for the dark blue with Eliz (top right) the others are rubber banded until I decide which it will be.  The little pink house is Anna Eliza Abe that I deliberately stitched uneven for an older look.  I think it may be too rough but we'll see.  There may also be a slight increase in prices since I got hammered on shipping last sale.  I include shipping to make it easy but even first class lightweights were over $3 plus the box cost, never mind priority prices for several.  There will only be a dozen or less.  Tuesday night at 8pm - unless I forget.


Dec 13, 2015

Happy dance

Two posts in a short time!  But I'm so excited I have to tell you.  You won't believe it.  My old printer is working!  I plugged it in and gave it one last shot and it's working.  I can't believe it.  We worked on it for days, tried it for days afterward, and nothing.  No black ink at all. 
Just to show you how bad the print was on the HP 6830 Office jet, take a look at the top compared to the 6520 on the bottom.  This is why I couldn't use older labels or anything that was already in the computer.  I don't know if anyone is interested but I may have a few boxes this week.  They will all be the tall oval since no others are available.  Making a trip to Hobby Lobby this week but they usually only have one of each size since they separate sets.  It's almost 70 degrees, we went for a walk at 10pm last night - heaven!  Still warm today. 
So that's what I wanted to share.  And one more thing.
Don't forget to decorate your fridge.
Have a great day!!

Pierogi Palace

That's what I wanted to call a little take out business, strictly pierogis.  There are so many fillings and I wanted each week to have a specialty in addition to the basics.  My father in law loved poppy seed and Bobalki is still one of my all time favorite desserts.  His mother from Czechoslovakia made pierogi with poppy filling, dried mushrooms, cabbage, cabbage with potato, sauerkraut.  There are many small cookbooks on these little pillows and unending ways to fill them.  These recipes are the ones used by our church for sales, my Dad's version for home, and my mom's family recipe.  I only make the cheese filling and I am so disappointed that the brand of dry cottage cheese locally is like gravel.  It's not the very fine curd that I was used to and these chunks of gravel were tearing the dough.  Next time I will add then to the food processor for a few seconds to break them up.  I have typed the recipes out since some of you were interested, and saved as a .jpg so you should be able to click and print the page.  Also will add to the recipe blog.  The real trick is the pinch, and since it's hard to not get the filling on the edges which will prevent that, as you pinch you kind of pull on the dough a little up from the very edge so it comes over the edge and seals well.  Hard to explain but you can easily get the hang of it, or just run your water dipped finger over the edge before pinching.


Dec 11, 2015

Where are your samplers?

Hello people!  In the midst of cleaning and decorating, I came across the unframed samplers hanging on the ladder, pinned to the wall, and pinned to a cabinet.  Do you have a sampler wall or do you spread the love around?  At one time I had them all in the dining room (very small) and it felt closed in.  So I kept just these pieces there,
moved some to the family room, and from there I decided to not frame newly completed pieces. 
Wanting to consolidate them, I pinned them to the very narrow hall leading to the front door, across from the powder room.  I made a skinny stand and added that to the wall.  This entire hall and foyer will probably be paneled and painted, maybe just one wall, but thought I would temporarily add them to see if it would be a good spot.  Well yes it would.  This hall enters the family room and the samplers would be visible, and away from any direct light or heat registers.  Boning needs to be added to some tops, some edges need sewn, but I will still leave enough for mounting if I ever decide to frame.  Right now they are hanging by one pin and crumpled.  But should all the others be moved here?  Not sure there would be enough room, especially with Lucy and Sally.  Maybe one large framed piece in a room and the rest filling the hall.  Adding a peg rail on the opposite side could be for the bags and smaller hangings.  Once they are pressed and properly pinned, I'll have some time to decide.  Mixing the framed with unframed would not look good - what do you think?  Frame them all?  Oh wait.  Just had an idea.  The large empty wall in the new room could be for the unframed, where more primitive cabinets will be.  The framed should be moved to the hall.  How's that?  I usually come up with something when I'm typing a post but it never would have entered my mind otherwise.  I think I have a plan.  What's yours?

Dec 10, 2015

All done

I hear many of you having the same issue this year - lacking a desire to decorate as much as we used to.  How come?  Several reasons for me.  Partly because of preferring the simple style, partly because of the hassle and work, but I have sadness about current events too.  I don't want to mention details but there have been so many horrific infant deaths at the hands of boyfriends, mothers, and fathers.  I want to stay off the computer because I cannot handle these disgusting headlines and the pain and suffering these helpless babies endured.  I am totally shocked at these hideous acts.  Sometimes I just can't let go of thoughts and it seems every day there is another incident.
On a brighter note, Carole is finally improving.  Not enough to go to market or shop for gifts by a long shot so I am still busy with her errands.  When getting her groceries today, I threw a little hissy fit in the parking lot.  I had gifts, returns, her food, my food, water jugs, the back seat was filled so several bags were on the floor in the front.  Mark was driving and as he dropped me off, the bags at my feet caught my shoes and spilled out of the car.  I kind of tumbled out but didn't fall. Traffic was waiting, items were rolling, receipts blowing away, and I just grabbed the items and THREW them back into the car.  The anger increased as most items hit the seat and came back out.   I need a car with more room and am looking for someone to assume my lease.
I decorated another tree at Mark's request.  I like just lights but he thought it should have ornaments so I did the rusty bells and stars, baskets, and a few Santas.  Now I'm finished.
Made the pierogi filling and the little balls are chilling in the fridge.  Tomorrow I'll make the dough, fill, and boil them, ready for the freezer.  We have three different dough recipes but I prefer the one with sour cream.  It pinches easily and stays shut.  Silky smooth and stretchy dough.
The weather is beautiful and I worked outside this afternoon.  Hope it stays for a few days.
Hope your week is going great.
Thanks for visiting.

Dec 8, 2015

Still putting up

and then taking down.  Just about finished returning a few trees and ornament boxes to the attic.  The pierogis have to be made this week!  Stuffed cabbage can wait a little while.  Mark has been washing walls, baseboards, windows, and giving everything a good cleaning.   I did that twice a year but since mom passed, I haven't.  I keep saying that since we are redecorating and painting, we should just wait.  He said he's tired of waiting years for me to find a willing contractor or decide on a paint color.  He doesn't understand why it takes years to pick out a beige. 
My latest thing is adding the hand forged hooks of various size to my interior doors.  I can hang my stitchery, drieds, wreaths, gourds, baskets, and because of the hook rather than a nail, the item won't fall off when I slam the door.  Why haven't I done this sooner?  So I brought out the hook assortment and installed them, love it.  I like the longer one that the folded greenery spray is on.  But the shorter ones are nice too.  Even if nothing is hanging, the black hook looks nice with my black iron knobs, but I have plenty of hanging smalls and sampler sacks to display.
One of two 3' sturdy branched trees that can take heavy ornaments.  One was Patti's and as I was thinking about that little tree that we bought (and we got the last ones), her husband showed up in my driveway.  He pulled the little tree from the car and asked if I wanted it.  YES!!!  She loved that tree and preferred the crooked trunk one to my straight one. These and the same tree in 4' were hidden in a clearance section and we were thrilled to find them.  The bottom branches need repositioned.  I think it fell over when Mark was cleaning.
Sprigs make me happy. 

 I just typed "have a great weekend" and then Curse of Oak Island came on the tv and I realized it was only Tuesday.  I need gutchies that have the day on them to help me out.  Do they make them in big girl white cotton old lady panties?
Have a great mid -week!
Thanks for visiting.
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